If you’ve recently adopted a puppy, you’ve probably noticed that they spend a lot of their time snoozing away. You might even wonder if they’re sleeping too much (or too little). These are all normal concerns to have as first-time pet owners, and we’re here to debunk them for you and offer our best tips.
When will they stop sleeping so much? Let’s break down the ins and outs of your puppy’s sleeping schedule and when/how much you can expect it to decrease as they age.
Before we get any further, rest assured that it’s perfectly normal for your puppy to spend most of the day sleeping. They need this sleep for healthy development and energy. Read on to learn more.
When Do Puppies Stop Sleeping All Day?
Between 4 and 6 months, your puppy should begin sleeping less during the day. The average puppy sleeps at least 11 hours in a 24-hour period and will typically be ready for a snooze after playtime or a walk.
Be sure to allow them to rest after any type of activity so that they can get their energy levels back up. Their growing bodies need it, and they can become stressed and anxious without proper sleep.
Your puppy will typically sleep between 30 minutes and 2 hours after any type of activity.
Around 4-5 months, your puppy should be sleeping through the night. Prior to this, they may wake up multiple times throughout the night with the urge to go potty.
However, puppies tend to sleep less at night and more during the day, taking naps frequently.
These naps will allow them to maintain their energy and appetite levels and facilitate healthy development and a strong immune system.
There is no specific age at which your puppies will stop sleeping all day. However, you will notice a gradual decrease in the amount of time your puppy sleeps as they age.
How Much Sleep Does a Puppy Need?
8-9 weeks old
Your puppy should be sleeping 20 hours a day at this age. This is the typical age for them to be weaned from their mother and potentially adopted into a new home.
It’s crucial to allow your puppy to sleep as often as they need or want to, especially in those beginning puppy phases.
Their bodies and nervous systems are developing progressively, and they will need the added energy to sustain themselves.
10-12 weeks old
Your puppy will now be sleeping around 18-20 hours a day at this age, so there is not a significant decrease in sleep yet compared to a few weeks ago.
Low sleep equals low energy, which can cause stress and anxiety for your puppy.
An anxious puppy usually lives in fear and is unable to be obedient, so be sure to let them rest as often as needed.
This low energy which creates stress, can also make it difficult for your new puppy to feel safe with you.
Remember that while they are likely ecstatic to have been adopted, it is still an adjustment for them, and they need a lot of extra attention to detail during this time.
13-20 weeks old
Your puppy should be sleeping around 13-15 hours a day at this age.
Keep in mind that a puppy without sleep can lead to aggressive behavior. This includes things like biting, growling and chewing on something.
This aggression could lead to the dog becoming destructive in the house as well, which would be very unfortunate and costly for you.
Keep an eye on your puppy to ensure they get adequate sleep throughout the day/night.
Your puppy should be sleeping around 10-13 hours a day by the first year. Quality sleep is still crucial at this age as they are still growing rapidly.
In fact, insufficient sleep can cause behavioral disorders in your puppy. This includes narcolepsy, insomnia, sleep apnea, and REM behavior disorder.
These disorders will likely result in the need for puppy training/therapy, which no owner wants, so be sure to let your puppy snooze.
What To Do If Your Puppy Sleeps Too Much?
Follow a Schedule
Your puppy will thrive on consistency and having a solid routine each day. Follow a strict schedule that allows for him to rest after activity.
This includes any type of walking or playtime as he will be tired afterward and ready for a nap. Short naps throughout the day will prevent him from sleeping too much.
As a general rule of thumb, though, if you think your puppy is sleeping too much, they’re probably not!
If you notice that your puppy suddenly seems to be sleeping more frequently than usual, assess his hydration levels.
Oftentimes, a dehydrated puppy will become sluggish and lethargic, wanting to lay around and rest more.
It’s crucial that they get enough water throughout the day. Be mindful of checking their water bowl and refilling it when necessary. In addition, make sure you are offering your dog quality water.
Many pet owners like to purchase mineral drops to add to their puppies’ water to ensure they get the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals in their diet.
Check Their Diet
If your puppy is still sleeping more than usual, now would be a good time to check his diet. Poor nutrition can cause your puppy to become sluggish and low energy, requiring him to sleep more.
Furthermore, you may have a picky eater on your hands, and your puppy may not like the food you’re giving him.
Always be sure that you are choosing high-quality and nutritious foods, as well as the appropriate aged dog food.
Ask A Vet
Seeking professional advice is never a bad idea if you have genuine concerns about your puppy. A vet can rule out any outstanding health concerns and test for allergies.
Your puppy may have an allergy to the food you’re giving him, which could be making him sick and, in turn, sleepier.
Sometimes, changing their diet is all you need to do to ensure your puppy is back on a healthy sleeping schedule.
What To Do When Puppy Won’t Sleep at Night?
Follow a Bedtime Routine
Your puppy will sleep a lot during the day, which is totally normal. However, they tend to sleep less at night during the puppy phase, making it even more important to follow a schedule with them.
You can eventually train your puppy to wake up and go to sleep at the same time as you each day, but it will take some time and patience.
Establishing a bedtime routine will teach him that nighttime is for sleeping.
Try Using a Crate
Your puppy will want to be near you wherever you are, and this is typically where they feel safest. However, you can also try using a crate and setting it up near your bed at night.
Make it comfortable by adding a dog bed or blankets, along with some water and a few toys to comfort them.
Just be sure not to leave anything in the crate that your puppy could potentially choke on.
The crate will act as a “safe space” for your puppy, hopefully making it easier for him to sleep during the night, so be sure to make it inviting.
Make Sure Your Space is Dark
Puppies naturally wake up when the sun rises each day.
Try investing in some sunlight-blocking curtains, and make your bedroom dark before going to bed at night. Your puppy will sleep better this way.
The space should be quiet as well, free from distractions or disturbances.
Potty Break Before Bed
Try offering your puppy a potty break or a short walk right before bed. If he has to go to the bathroom or has pent-up energy from the day, it will be much more difficult to sleep at night.
Don’t Disturb Your Puppy.
It’s hard to resist cuddling and playing with your new puppy, especially when they sleep all day. But it’s crucial that you don’t disturb them at nighttime when they are supposed to be sleeping.
This does not help establish clear boundaries or a bedtime schedule that they can rely on. Instead, get them situated in a quiet and dim space near you, and leave them be.
Be Prepared for Interruptions
It takes time for your puppy to become skilled at sleeping through the night. Be prepared for interruptions throughout the night for the first several months at least.
They also do not yet have full control over their bowels and cannot hold it all night like an adult dog may be able to.
Be sure to give them a potty break before bed and be prepared to take them outside during the night.